By Mike Rogers and Ellen Tauscher
(CNN) The United States has gained much from its position as a space-faring nation. Indeed, U.S. access to space has provided incredible benefit to U.S. national security, defense and the economic well-being of the nation. And in order to effectively confront current and future conflicts, combat terrorism and counter the proliferating threats worldwide, our military depends on space-based capabilities, including intelligence, GPS, and communications satellites.
Unfortunately, as global threats increase and the need for assured space access accelerates, the U.S. is faced with a troubling reality — we are far too reliant on Russian technology to meet our national security obligations.
For a start, we depend on the Atlas V rocket, which carries many of our most important satellites and is powered by the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine.